Embracing Stress: Tools for Developing Resilience at Home and at Work Sun, Sep 30 8:00-9:00 a.m.

How does stress outside the home affect our emotional lives? How can people in demanding jobs meet their professional commitments without undermining their personal relationships? Research on stress and couple functioning suggests that the effects of stress are often invisible, spilling over to affect our families and children long before we are consciously aware of it.

In this session, we will draw upon current models of stress and family relationships to explain exactly how external challenges can threaten our most important social ties. We will describe common types of stress that affect families, the stages of stress spillover, and the often insidious negative effects of these processes on cognition and emotion regulation.

Understanding these basic principles then highlights counter-intuitive strategies for embracing stress as an opportunity to strengthen, rather than weaken, our relationships. For example, rather than avoiding we will outline how attending directly to stress can minimize its impact on how we think and feel about our partners. Rather than focus exclusively on verbal communication, we will describe effective non-verbal techniques for soliciting support from loved ones.

Throughout this session, we will define and emphasize the concept of resilience, i.e., how organisms become stronger by adapting to stress successfully. By the end, participants will have tools they can use to develop resilience in their own lives and the lives of their family members.

At the end of this activity, participants will be able to:

  1. Explain how stress outside the home can negatively affect relationships within families.
  2. List categories of stress that affect relationships in different ways.
  3. Explain how specific features of relationships can be exploited to minimize the negative effects of stress.
  4. Identify strategies individuals and couples can use to thrive in the face of stress.

Program Subject to Change.

Accreditation: The American Society of Plastic Surgeons® (ASPS) is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

Designation: The ASPS designates this live activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.